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Poll
Question: Which aspects of Eastern Orthodox Christianity are still relevant?
The Canons?
The Fathers (Pastristic) Outlook?
The lives of the Saints?
The Bible?
All?
Some?
The 7 Ecumenical Councils?
Understanding the Nicene Creed?

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Author Topic: Relevant aspects of Eastern Orthodox Christianity  (Read 1531 times) Average Rating: 0
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GabrieltheCelt
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« on: April 09, 2009, 05:58:54 PM »

Which of the above choices are relevant in today's culture?  Why or why not?  I am hoping for input from any priest who would like to comment as well as laity.  Please remember to include your reasoning for your choices.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 06:27:43 PM by GabrieltheCelt » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2009, 07:12:53 PM »

*Bump*



 None of it is relevant?
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2009, 07:25:44 PM »

Well, I hope if I start, better minds than mine will continue!

Remember, I'm a bad Orthodox and there's much that I still don't "get" or quite understand...I'm sure the correct answer is "all of them", but as  I'm not a "good" Orthodox, I chose 1)Bible 2) lives of the saints and 3)understanding the nicene creed.

I'm still not quite sure about the church fathers, because I'm inclined to see them as ordinary human beings with certain limitations.

The canons I neither study nor read, and the councils I do not know by heart like some. I dislike reading online and don't have the money to buy these books, so I stick with reading the Bible. Then there's the church services, which are also full of useful teachings, but for me I don't actually catch very much unless I spend hours studying beforehand, because it's all in church slavonic.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 07:27:01 PM by Rosehip » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2009, 08:55:26 PM »

Gabriel, I don't quite understand what you mean by "relevant."

All items you listed are "relevant," IMHO; by that, I mean that one can certainly draw a tremendous lot of beneficial, uplifting, inspiring stuff from the Canons, and from the writings of the Fathers, and from the hagiography, and from the Bible. On the other hand, none of the above is infillable; there are factual mistakes in every human writing (and I hope I understand it right that the inspiration of something by the Holy Spirit does not mean that the Holy Spirit eliminated everything human from those people who wrote this or this or that), so there are inaccuracies, inconsistencies, myths, un-truths, "urban legends" and what not in all of the above.

How to tell what's real from what's historical, superfluous, relative, etc. - well, that's always a million dollar question, but I am not worried much about it; I don't intend to spend my life in "theological discussions"; I think I'll just listen to the Church (beginning with my wonderful parish priest, our very own Fr. Chris), and, most importantly, pray, and listen to something like this, http://technorati.com/videos/youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D4-18FVuQt5k ... and things will be alright... Smiley
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 08:57:17 PM by Heorhij » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2009, 10:23:07 PM »

I see all the above as relevant to monastics i.e. the preservers of Tradition.  But to us who are not monastics, to what degree should we incorporate each choice?  Some of the choices should be obvious, such as the lives of the saints, the Creed and the Bible.  But what about the Canons?  It seems that earlier Christian communities were under the guidance of the canons by way of a closer relationship to their bishops.  Today, a parish can go a year (or more) without seeing their bishop and so do not have the same sense of connection.  The councils, it seems, form the dogmatics of our faith.  I think that many Christians today see the study of the councils as something for academics and hierarchs to study.  But is that so?  I don't know, that's why I ask.  Lastly, I hear a great deal of acquiring a Patristic mindset or at least using them as a framework.  Am I correct?  And is it even possible for a non-monastic?  I realize that we're to live in the world but be not of it.  Still, I worry about my ignorance for not knowing these things. 
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2009, 12:20:31 AM »

...tough crowd.  Sad
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2009, 12:54:47 AM »

"All" is now in the majority with 5 votes out of 8 cast.
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2009, 01:34:47 AM »



Please have a look at trhe section in Timothy Ware's The Orthodox Church which deals with this question.  The choices are as relevant today as they were last century.

It is on the Internet

http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0804/__P10.HTM

"Let us take in turn the different outward forms in which Tradition is expressed..."
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2009, 10:31:53 AM »

All should be relevant; even if I personally do not understand say canons,  lives of the saints, patristics, 7 ecumenical councils etc. in great depth these should be implicit within catechesis & expressed in a basic catechism. Whereas I believe really knowing the creed is indispensable as is at least some Bible reading (daily devotionals etc. & certainly St. John Chrysostom preached almost exclusively on scripture) to enable us to realize our participation in the DL.
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2009, 01:51:09 PM »

All should be relevant; even if I personally do not understand say canons,  lives of the saints, patristics, 7 ecumenical councils etc. in great depth these should be implicit within catechesis & expressed in a basic catechism. Whereas I believe really knowing the creed is indispensable as is at least some Bible reading (daily devotionals etc. & certainly St. John Chrysostom preached almost exclusively on scripture) to enable us to realize our participation in the DL.

Well, this was my thought too, as I posted my two cents worth. Who is catechized on patristics, councils and canons?? I sure wasn't! I was told to read the book about St. Seraphim Sarovsky and a sermon about salvation by St. Innocent, and that was it!! No patristics, no canons and no councils. Would I have been interested? Of course! Do I ever hear real, live people discussing canon law, patristics, and councils? Almost never. They seem the territory of mostly online personas.

Too bad we don't have more classes on indepth Orthodoxy in our parishes. Maybe some of you here have them, I don't know. I'm not big on activities, but such classes I would take up with pleasure.
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2009, 02:13:43 PM »

They're all relevant.  As to the many differences in how the role of each aspect is understood (i.e., strictness vs. oikonomia in how we apply the canons, how we approach the wisdom of the Fathers, how we read the Scriptures), that's a totally different story.  But they're all relevant.
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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2009, 02:31:12 PM »

They're all relevant.  As to the many differences in how the role of each aspect is understood (i.e., strictness vs. oikonomia in how we apply the canons, how we approach the wisdom of the Fathers, how we read the Scriptures), that's a totally different story.  But they're all relevant.
Agreed. Well spoken.
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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2009, 02:34:07 PM »

To some the Canons are rigid laws which can not or should not be ever be abrogated or adjusted to meet modern society needs.

To others the canons are guidelines that must be interpreted in the light of current society factors and issues.

I tend to concur with the latter group.

Thomas
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« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2009, 02:42:49 PM »

ISTM that it's also possible to read and digest the wisdom of the Fathers in the same way that fundamentalist Protestants read the Scriptures and call this a Patristic outlook (and, by extension, to call other ways of knowing the Fathers un-patristic and un-Orthodox).
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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2009, 04:12:18 PM »

I voted for "All". I don't think its a matter of substance or knowledge, but more application. Knowing the cannons and the creed and the Patristic Teachings is fine, but if it is applied incorrectly or distored, then knowing the information is essentially useless. I guess essentially I agree with what Thomas posted above, we need to apply the information in light of the current age. I assume the term would be taking the "spirit" of the law rather than the letter of the law, although this can also be dangerous in application.

To sum it up, Its all relevant.

-Nick
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